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"The Cowtown" 10K Race Report - Disappointing! (Read 852 times)

    I did my very first 10K race today. Prior to this, the only other race I have even run was a 5K on Nov 5 last year. Would you believe that my biggest worry prior to the race was finding somewhere to park and being worried about roads being blocked off in downtown Ft. Worth. This turned out to be a non-issue. While roads were in fact blocked off, it didn’t affect me at all. I got to the race area about 75 mins before the start of the race. It was dark, windy, wet, and bit chilly, but I managed to stay warm by hanging around the expo tent. For the last couple days I’ve been thinking about what pace I should try and run the race in. I set a goal of breaking 1 hour so I figured I’d start at around my normal training pace of about 10min/mile and see how I feel, probably going to 9:00-9:30 for miles 2 and 3 and if I feel fine, pick up the pace a bit. I started off on plan, but I have a very hard time keeping pace. Eventually I saw a woman that seemed to be running about the same pace I was going at and she seemed pretty consistent so I decided to sit just behind her and I stayed there until about mile 4.5. The course was surprisingly hilly. After going down the first hill just around mile 1, the only thing in the back of my mind is that I need to eventually run up a corresponding hill since the finish is about about 2 blocks from where we started. At one point of the course, we were going up and down over and over. This was especially tough for me since I don’t train on any hills at all. All my training miles have been on flat roads. Around mile 5, I was starting to struggle, but I held on…just barely. It didn’t help that at that same time, we had an uphill hill to run. Once I got past that hill, I was within 0.25 miles of the finish so I picked up the pace and passed several people. I even pushed and managed to pass another run about 1 foot from the finish. Once I was done, I came extremely close to throwing up. Coincidental as I was walking around and I saw the finish area of the 5K race, I saw one guy actually vomiting. My eventual chip time was 1:00:50. I didn’t manage to break an hour. My overall pace was 9:49 min/mile which is basically what I run in training. I’m actually very disappointed in myself. My 5K time from 3.5 months ago was 30:11 so my 10K time isn’t actually any kind of improvement, despite the fact that I have so many more miles under my belt since my 5K race, including 30+ mile weeks for the last 6 weeks plus I’m 10lbs lighter! Some lessons learned and things I need to work on include: * I need to do some hill training * I need to find a way to learn proper pacing. With proper pacing and time awareness, I could have certainly run each mile 10 seconds faster and finished within the hour. * I need to figure out how much I can push myself earlier in the race. I ran the entire race at my training pace. I wasn’t breathing hard and could have probably carried on a conversation, but I’m afraid of running too fast early on in case I can’t finish. * I need to figure out why I can't race faster than I train. I’ve been running consistently for 6 months now and doubts are starting to creep in to my mind as to whether I can actually be ready for a marathon in Dec! My next 2 weeks will be easy weeks and then I have about 12 weeks before I start my marathon training plan. I need to figure out how to spend those 12 weeks training.
    Derek


    Dog-Love

      Don't you dare be hard on yourself!!! Hills definitely add an element of challenge to your overall pace (kind of like a headwind) and if you haven't trained with hills then you really challenged yourself in this 10K. So you may not be thrilled with not getting in under an hour but compared to your 5K you have doubled your distance, increased the hills, and quickened your pace. Like your before and after picture in the other group, the changes with running are more noticeable after a longer period. Keep up that good work. GOOD JOB!
      Run like you are on fire! 5K goal 24:00 or less (PR 24:34) 10K goal 50:00 or less (PR 52:45) HM goal 1:55:00 or less (PR 2:03:02) Marathon Goal...Less than my PR (PR 4:33:23)
        Derek, I started running at the end of July in Houston. Other than very minor ups and downs along the bayou it has all been flat. The reason that I started was that a colleague of my wife coaches the HM group with Houston Fit. http://www.houstonfit.com/ and talked me into it. I ran the HM in January, my first, and came in on my planned pace 10:30/mile using a Garmin 305. Without it I would have had a really hard time gauging my pace. I ran the Austin HM last week, 5 mins faster than Houston but a full 2 minutes slower than my planned pace for this one. The hills were a huge difference. In addition something messed up the Garmin, possibly signal bounces, and its pace calculation got screwed up. I was planning 10:00/mile and ended up running 10:07 although the Garmin claims I ran10:01 and decided the course was 200yards too long. Anyway ... Looking at your log you are in a way better position to do a December Marathon than I am and I'm planning to run the Dublin Marathon at the end of October. Both in Houston and Austin I got to the end thinking "and you want to run a full marathon! What are you nuts?" However, I had much more confidence setting out in Austin, despite the hills. I'm not in much of a position to give you advice, especially given that you have about twice my total mileage under your belt. On the other hand that's never stopped me before! Run more practice races. Don't panic. Stay on your plan. I would suggest don't go nuts on speed work, that's what has me injured (IT Band). Most of all remember you're not alone running races at paces that piss you off. Gareth.


        Needs more cowbell!

          Derek, don't be hard on yourself...bad weather + hills can easily add to less than ideal run. My first 10k was one of my first races. Had it been my first I likely would have quite racing and maybe even running altogether (hotter 'n Hades, I had a tummy bug, the course was poorly marked and a couple of us ended up lost for a bit, an official/volunteer told us we had a mile to go when we still had over 1.5 to the finish, and lots of hills, too...I think my time for that was a crazy 1:11:11, which is actually amusing, now). One nice thing about running your first race at a particular distance poorly is that you are almost guaranteed to PR the next time around. I know that my next 10k is gonna rock! Smile k

          I shoot pretty things! ~

          '14 Goals:

          • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

          • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

            bad weather + hills can easily add to less than ideal run.
            The weather was actually quite nice by the time the race started. It was only wet and chilly before the sun came up which was about 15-30 mins before the start time.
            Derek
              In addition something messed up the Garmin, possibly signal bounces, and its pace calculation got screwed up. I was planning 10:00/mile and ended up running 10:07 although the Garmin claims I ran10:01 and decided the course was 200yards too long.
              I also have a Garmin, but today, being in the city, the signal wasn't that great and I think I even lost signal at some point. I did glance at the pace every so often, but I think I need to learn how to judge my pace better without having to depend on the Garmin. I don't know if that comes with experience, or if people have to specifically learn it. I seem to read about people that can pick a pace they want to run and then go run that pace and get pretty close without having to depend on any tools or gadgets.
              Derek
                My 5K time from 3.5 months ago was 30:11 so my 10K time isn’t actually any kind of improvement, despite the fact that I have so many more miles under my belt since my 5K race, including 30+ mile weeks for the last 6 weeks! I need to figure out why I can't race faster than I train.
                Derek, congratulations on your race! Don't be so hard on yourself! The fact that you got there early, braved the dark, windy, wet and cold, ran hills which you weren't used to, and finished only 50 seconds over what your goal was, I think you should be patting yourself on the back! Smile I'm just a newbie but the first thing I wondered after I read the above (and peeked at your log) was if you did any speed work? I'm not talking about going out and killing yourself, but anything above your normal pace? Even if it's a little bit faster than what you normally do, from what I've been reading (The Competitive Runners Handbook), you can add miles until you're blue and not see a huge speed improvement. If you put a bit of a strain on your body and run slightly faster, though, you'll start adjusting to it and more readily see your speed increase. The trick, I believe, is to not go bonkers and just increase it slowly, otherwise you'll end up injured. This is my plan anyway! I've tried to build my base up so that I can start focusing a little on getting faster....but this will be a more gradual thing I'm sure. Just my .02!! Smile
                  Sounds like a great race! You said you train on flat roads? Then you ought to be proud to sport that time on a hilly course. Smile You did awesome! I agree with Kirsten, it leaves room to PR Smile
                  Jennifer mm#1231
                    I'm just a newbie but the first thing I wondered after I read the above (and peeked at your log) was if you did any speed work? I'm not talking about going out and killing yourself, but anything above your normal pace? Even if it's a little bit faster than what you normally do
                    I haven't done any speed work at all. I am running my training runs faster than I was back in Sep. I think my pace in Sep was in the 12-13 min/mile pace, but by just running more, I naturally started to run faster until I got to the 9:30-10:00 min/mile pace and that's where I've been since.
                    Derek
                    va


                      I’ve been running consistently for 6 months now and doubts are starting to creep in to my mind as to whether I can actually be ready for a marathon in Dec!.
                      Derek, Why do you doubt if you can be ready for a marathon in December? Are you setting some kind of finish time goal for it? Most marathons have a cut off time of 6 to 7 hours, and it is just a matter of your endurance. I am running my first marathoin on November and unless I get injured or visited by the grim reaper, I am going to be ready for that race, and if I can do it, you certainly can. I don't really care what my finish time is, I just want to build my endurance so I can finish as comfortably as possible. I will save any improvement time goals for my next marathon, the following Spring. Also, if your race pace is your trainng pace, that suggests to me your training pace is too fast. If you plug your 10K time in the McMillan running calculator, it suggest your easy runs should be between 11:25 and 11:55. Just an idea... Btw, did you read this artical about Lance's first marathon: http://www.thefinalsprint.com/2007/01/a-classic-case-of-too-much-too-soon/


                      Prophet!

                        hey Derek... first of all congrats on finishing the race..i'd say your time is pretty good considering its your first10K race...i too have problems with pacing during race and i think that will only improve with more racing experience. Also you've been base training without any sort of stamina workouts at or near your expected race pace...so i'd imagine you'd have a hard time racing at pace other than what you're comfortable with (training pace). That and given the unexpected hills I'd say great job. Shouldn't be so hard on yourself. You'll be ready for the marathon, just make sure you give yourself several 'race goals, finishing strong first then any sort of time goals. aloha, Steve
                          Derek, Why do you doubt if you can be ready for a marathon in December? Are you setting some kind of finish time goal for it? Most marathons have a cut off time of 6 to 7 hours, and it is just a matter of your endurance.
                          I do have a marathon goal.....under 4 hours for my first marathon. If as I approach Dec I don't think I can do it, then I would rather not run the marathon in Dec, train some more, and run a later marathon where I can break 4 hours. I know most people recommend not setting a goal for your first marathon, but I'm not built that way. Derek
                          Derek


                          You'll ruin your knees!

                            First of all, I'll echo other's comments...Don't beat yourself up! You have begun the journey and have established a solid base. You now have a 10K PR of 1:00:50, so you have something to shoot for! Another thing I would point out that running basically the same pace today in a 10K as you ran in a 5K almost 4 months ago IS progress! That means that your 10K pace today is what your 5K pace was back then! That is great progress! Others have mentioned speed and hill training and these will absolutely take time off your PRs. I don't think your marathon goal is out of reach AT ALL, White Rock is my marathon PR, and it shall be yours, too! Take care and stop beating yourself up! Lynn B

                            ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

                              Thanks to everyone for the feedback and advice. I've beat myself up for a day and now I'm moving on. I signed up for a 5K in 5 weeks time so we'll see how that goes. I've also worked out a training plan for the next 15 weeks where I'm going to add 1 days of speed work each week and continue to build my mileage.
                              Derek
                                Derek, your first sentence says it all--this was your first 10K. Your 2nd race ever. Don't sweat it. Racing takes practice. You've come a long way and you will continue to make huge progress. Don't ever worry about bad races or workouts, they will happen. Don't ever consider a good race to be a fluke, good races are what are supposed to happen--and they will. Especially when you are still in the process of building mileage, it is sometimes hard to see the results in races--your body is adapting to the new workload. My suggestions: 1. Consider this a learning experience and move on (sounds like you already have), 2. Race more--it takes practice, 3. Leave the Garmin and any other gadgets at home for races and some workouts--learn to feel the race, 4. Don't worry too much about formal speedwork at this point, but DO change the pace from time to time--mix it up, 5. Have fun. -Mike

                                Runners run.

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